UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres reiterated his calls for the release of prisoners in Myanmar, an end to violence and a return to democracy, saying this is the only way out of the current crisis.

He said an inclusive process is required and that Indonesia would work hard to achieve this during their tenure as next year’s ASEAN chair.

Guterres made the remarks in Phnom Penh, where he attended the ASEAN-UN Summit.

Speaking in a November 12 press conference, Guterres said: “The situation in Myanmar is an unending nightmare for the people of the country and a threat to peace and security across the region. Indiscriminate attacks on civilians are horrendous and heartbreaking. I urge the authorities in Myanmar to listen to their people, release political prisoners, and get democratic transition back on track immediately.”

“That is the only way to stability and peace,” he said, urging ASEAN to find a unified strategy toward Myanmar, centered on the needs and aspirations at the country’s people.

He also called for Myanmar to create conditions for the voluntarily return of almost one million Rohingya refugees.

Following the summit, he tweeted: “At ASEAN, I condemned the appalling human rights situation in Myanmar and repeated calls for the country's authorities to release all political prisoners and launch an inclusive process to return to democratic transition.

“I also urged all member countries to develop a regional framework to protect refugees,” he added